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Project Management, Business Culture and Relations Essay

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Updated: Jun 16th, 2020

Introduction

Project management within the present day business environment has come to encompass a global landscape resulting in the need to adapt and develop new strategies in order to handle the hyper-competitive business environment that companies find themselves in (McKetham 2010). Through globalisation, the interconnection of regional financial markets and the creation of global supply chains has resulted in a situation where project managers need to take into consideration not only the different timelines but also the myriad of cultures, local partnerships and types of employees that are necessary when it comes to managing a global business venture (Human & Steyn 2013).

Thus, project management at the present is practically deluged with an assortment of issues that have to be handled with care due to the possible negative ramifications that may come about as a direct result of carelessness or a lack of information. As such, this paper will tackle the case of project management within the present day business environment through the lens of issues brought about by globalisation and the need to penetrate regional markets via new projects.

Through this paper, a greater understanding of project management in the present day business environment will be developed. It is the assumption of this paper that project management strategies that used to be implemented in a company’s home market are incompatible with the new markets that they are trying to penetrate in other countries. Based on this, the current landscape of project management at the present requires a considerable level of flexibility and an understanding of how new markets need alternative strategies due to the myriad of ways one local culture is different from another.

Issues with Business Culture

First and foremost, it is important to note that there is a considerable level of variance between business cultures. It is within this context that when companies attempt to expand into other countries and establish their own corporate divisions within the aforementioned location, a certain level of “culture shock” occurs due to the differences between what the company is used to and what is present within the new location (Mir & Pinnington 2014).

One case example can be seen in the company “Goodyear” which is one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world. As explained by Ward & Daniel (2013), the American division of the company questioned the low levels of productivity found in their French counterpart and discovered that their employees in France worked 6 hours a day with a 1 hour break for lunch. When questioned regarding this particular practice, it was explained that it was simply the way things were done within France. From a project management standpoint, this presents itself as a considerable issue since the company would in effect be lagging when it comes to its production capabilities within France (Samáková, Šujanová & Koltnerová 2013).

However, attempting to change such practices would result in a considerable degree of “rebellion” from the workers since that is simply the way things are done within the local manufacturing business culture (Besner & Hobbs 2012). It is due to this that project management within the present day business environments needs to first take into consideration local business practices and factor it into the long term goals of the project. If the local business culture is simply far too adverse to the productivity requirements of the project, then the project manager should seek alternative locations rather than cause a considerable compromise in the intended project outputs (Keys to Success in Megaproject Management in Mexico and the United States: Case Study 2014).

Harmonising Different Types of Employees

Another factor that should be taken into consideration within present day project management is the need to harmonise different employee cultures. As explained in the previous section, local business cultures can create issues when it comes to establishing new projects in other countries, however, in cases where a project manager has successfully established a new project in a new country, it is also necessary to harmonise the workers in that country with those that operate in the main markets of the company. El-Mehalawi (2014) explains that a certain degree of discrimination exists between employees that exist in two different departments that are separated by thousands of miles. The difference in time zones, business cultures and manner of speaking can create internal issues that project managers need to take into consideration (Müller, Glückler, Aubry & Shao 2013).

Solutions to such problems come in the form of developing inter-office employee visits, fostering better means of communication and presenting the need to cooperate in order for the company to succeed in its goal (Anantatmula & Rad 2014). Based on these requirements, it can be seen that the present day business environment for project management requires project managers to not only take into consideration local business cultures but also requires them to develop strategies in order to ensure proper communication and collaboration between branches of the company that are located in different locations.

Conclusion

Based on what has been presented so far, it can be seen that project management strategies that used to be implemented in a company’s home markets are incompatible with the new markets that they are trying to penetrate in other countries. This shows that at the present, project management has come to encompass a global business landscape and has developed to the point that it takes into consideration new strategies that take into consideration local cultures instead of a “one size fits all” approach that has a low possibility of succeeding.

Reference List

Anantatmula, V, & Rad, P 2014, ‘Vital Signs of a Healthy Project Management Environment’, AACE International Transactions, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 1-26. Web.

Besner, C, & Hobbs, B 2012, ‘An Empirical Identification of Project Management Toolsets and a Comparison Among Project Types’, Project Management Journal, vol. 43, no. 5, pp. 24-46. Web.

El-Mehalawi, ME 2014, ‘Project Controls Support to Project Management’, AACE International Transactions, vol.3, no. 4, pp. 1-16. Web.

Human, W, & Steyn, H 2013, ‘Establishing project management guidelines for successfully managing resettlement projects’, South African Journal Of Business Management, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 1-14. Web.

‘Keys to Success in Megaproject Management in Mexico and the United States: Case Study’ 2014, Journal Of Construction Engineering & Management, vol. 140, no. 4, p. -1. Web.

McKetham Jr., KA 2010, ‘Practical survival guide for globalisation project managers’, Multilingual, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 27-29. Web.

Mir, F, & Pinnington, A 2014, ‘Exploring the value of project management: Linking Project Management Performance and Project Success’, International Journal Of Project Management, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 202-217. Web.

Müller, R, Glückler, J, Aubry, M, & Shao, J 2013, ‘Project Management Knowledge Flows in Networks of Project Managers and Project Management Offices: A Case Study in the Pharmaceutical Industry’, Project Management Journal, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 4-19. Web.

Samáková, J, Šujanová, J, & Koltnerová, K 2013, ‘Project Communication Management in Industrial Enterprises’, Proceedings Of The European Conference On Information Management & Evaluation, pp. 155-163. Web.

Ward, J, & Daniel, E 2013, ‘The role of project management offices (PMOs) in IS project success and management satisfaction’, Journal Of Enterprise Information Management, 26, 3, pp. 316-336. Web.

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